The first female Nigerian taekwondo athlete to qualify for the Olympics Games in 16 years, Elizabeth Anyanacho has been named as one of 30 Game Changers of 2020, a project established by the Malala Fund.
The Game Changes project aims to highlight the stories of female athletes, who outline their accomplishments in sport and their work to make our world a more equal place.
This includes challenging lack of diversity in their sports, as well as advocating for people with disabilities.
Anyanacho is named on the list for 2020 after qualifying for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
She secured one of two berths available in the women’s under-67-kilogram event at the African qualification tournament, which was held in Moroccan capital Rabat during February.
Her participation at the Olympics has been delayed due to the postponement of Tokyo 2020 to 2021, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Anyanacho first participated in a taekwondo competition in 2017, but repeated success at tournaments has led to her qualification for the Olympic Games.
Anyanacho said that her initial aim was to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics, but qualification has been achieved ahead of schedule.
“It was a great joy because we achieved one part of the plan that was conceived five years ago.
“I get to be among one of the persons serving my country.”
The Game Changes project is backed by the Malala Fund, which was co-founded by student and Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai.
The 30 athletes featuring in 2020 represent 24 countries.
“Some have competed at the Olympics and Paralympics, others are just starting out,” Game Changers said.
“Each one is a testament to the incredible potential of girls and women when given the opportunity to learn and lead.”